Friday, February 13, 2009

Education Spending in the Obama Stimulus Bill

From Chris bowers at Open Left comes this useful sumary of the education items in the stiumlus package:

Education for the 21st Century:

Economists tell us that strategic investments in education are one of the best ways to help America become more productive and competitive. This bill will make key investments to help states avoid teacher layoffs and other damaging education cuts in this recession, help make college more affordable, and make other key education investments.

Preventing Teacher Layoffs and Education Cuts by the States

Prevents teacher layoffs and other cutbacks in education and other key services, by establishing a $53.6 billion State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, including $40.6 billion to local school districts using existing funding formulas, which can be used for preventing cutbacks, preventing layoffs, school modernization, or other purposes; $5 billion to states as bonus grants for meeting key performance measures in education; and $8 billion to states for other high priority needs such as public safety and other critical services, which may include education.

Making College More Affordable

Increases the higher education tax credit to a maximum of $2,500. Also makes it available to nearly 4 million low-income students who had not had any access to the higher education tax credit in the past - by making it partially refundable.

Increases the maximum Pell Grant by $500, for a maximum of $5,350 in 2009 and $5,550 in 2010.

Adds $200 million to the vital College Work-Study program.

Investing in Early Childhood Development

Provides $1.1 billion for Early Head Start and $1 billion for Head Start, which provide comprehensive development services to low-income infants and preschool children - thereby providing services for 110,000 additional infants and children.

Provides $2 billion for the Child Care Development Block Grant to provide child care services to an additional 300,000 children in low-income families while their parents go to work.

Providing Other Key Education Investments

Provides $13 billion for Title I grants to help disadvantaged kids reach high academic standards - ensuring that in this period of tight state and local budgets these vital services are maintained.

Provides $12.2 billion for grants for IDEA (Special Education) to increase the federal share of these costs, and prevent these mandatory costs from forcing states to cut other areas of education.

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